“I’m Unable to Sustain My Level”: Victoria Azarenka Raises Doubts Over French Open 2021 After Madrid Open Withdrawal

Published 05/02/2021, 12:24 PM EDT
ROME, ITALY: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates in her round one match against Venus Williams of The United States during day three of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at Foro Italico in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Riccardo Antimiani – Pool/Getty Images)


Victoria Azarenka, who made a terrific comeback to form at the US Open series last year, is going through a rough patch with back-to-back injuries in 2021. The Belarusian had to retire before the semi-final contest against Garbine Muguruza at the Qatar Open a couple of months before.

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ROME, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 17: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates in her round two match against Sofia Kenin of the United States during day four of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at Foro Italico on September 17, 2020, in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The four-time Grand Slam champion has withdrawn from the ongoing WTA Mutua Madrid Open after suffering a lower back injury. Azarenka was supposed to be playing against Jessica Pegula in the second round. As a result of the walkover, Pegula qualifies for the round of 16. 

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Victoria Azarenka announces her withdrawal from Mutua Madrid Open

Expressing her disappointment over the tournament withdrawal, Azarenka said,” I’m very disappointed to withdraw from the tournament. It’s been a really disappointing season for me physically, where at times I’ve felt like I’m playing really well but I’m not able to sustain my level.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021, Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka during her first round match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Playing consecutive matches became a problem for the former world number one as her body gave up more often. Her perseverance was appreciated by the tennis fraternity when she had a phenomenal run at the US Open last year by defeating top players like Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek, and the mighty Serena Williams

Even though she lost the finals against Naomi Osaka, she continued her good form this year and managed to reach the semi-finals at the Qatar Open 2021. It was a back injury she sustained during the quarter-final contest against Elina Svitolina.

Unfortunately, the same back injury came back to haunt the Belarusian in the current clay-court season. While the severity of the injury is yet to be determined, Azarenka is hopeful of finding the solution and get back to playing tennis. 

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I’m really looking forward to finding the solution and I hope I’ll do that soon and to be back playing as soon as possible,” Azarenka concluded. 

With Naomi Osaka getting ousted at the Madrid Open, it would have been a window of opportunity for Victoria Azarenka to have a solid run on the red turf. At this moment, her participation at the Italian Open is a big question as she looks hopeful of playing at Roland Garros.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

334 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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